Striking Changes Required
Inverness travel to East End Park, home of the delicious steak bridie to take on Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday, the match kicking off at 3:00pm.
After the steak bridie, you can wash it down with blood red wine, just ask Sir Patrick Spens
The king sits in Dunfermline toune
drinking the blude reid wine,
"O whar can I get skeely skipper,
To sail this ship o' mine?"
We have already suffered this season at the hands of the Pars, well their young team anyway after they ditched us from the Challenge Cup, their youth squad being good enough to beat our fringe squad with plenty of experience 2-1. The least said about that the better, although Robbo was less than enthusiastic about the display of the fringe players in that one.
Many Caley Jags fans are hesitant about the new season after just a handful of games as we see a regular theme occurring. The lack of a clinical finisher is once more undermining some of our outfield play as we squander chance after chance. An observation that has not gone unnoticed by the manager. We have tried Nathan Austin, George Oakley, Jordan White and Daniel Mackay up front in various combinations with support coming from Tom Walsh, Aaron Doran and Liam Polworth. Walsh looks to be the most promising provider but Riccardo Calder is a surprise packet showing some great ability to beat his man wide on the left and his crosses are begging for a finisher on the end of them. Liam Polworth looked jaded last time out and a rest would do him no harm. However, Robbo usually sees it differently to us and he has stuck by Polworth and Joe Chalmers religiously over the last season whilst others come and go in the starting IX. It's maybe time for a subtle change, but it's no use providing the ammunition if your strikers are firing blanks.
Dunfermline have had a surprisingly low key start to the season after showing up well against Hearts in the League Cup going down by just the solitary strike from Jambos midfielder Olly Lee. Unlike us, they were creative in this tie and offered a real threat to Hearts.They began their League campaign with an excellent away win over Dundee United by 3-2. Thomson and Longridges Jackson and Louis both scored in that one. However they were cuffed 1-3 by Ross County, Louis Longridge on target again and the surprise result so far was a 4-1 reverse against Ayr United with Longridge on the scoresheet once more, this time brother Jackson keeping it in the family. Makes our draw against Ayr look like a good result! After those games, the Pars have three points and sit in the bottom quarter of the table, but it's early days yet.
Despite our inauspicious start to the Championship, we sit mid-table on five points from three games. That could so easily have been nine points especially as the two draws were played out against ten men from the two recently promoted sides. No disrespect to them, but we really need to win games like that, however, we struggled, especially against Ayr United. In both games chances were aplenty but wayward finishing and good goalkeeping kept us to a minimum and that's what needs to change.
The Pars have seen a few changes since the summer. A pair of Longridges. Louis and his brother Jackson have teamed up at East End Park. Former Caley Jag Danny Devine comes in from Partick and forward Miles Hippolyte from St Mirren. Defender Mark Durnan comes in from the Arabs with Tom Beadling making a permanent switch from Sunderland after his loan expired. Aidan Connolly showed up well against us in that Challenge cup game and he joins from York City. Loan deals have been agreed with Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Dundee) and our own cup final hero James Vincent, also from Dundee.
Bit of a clear out at East End Park after the end of the season. The bigger names released were Willo Flood who came and went before getting started. Dean Shiels, Nicky Clark, Fraser Aird, Calum Morris, Declan McManus, Joe Cardle, Nat Wedderburn, Michael Paton were all let go. Therein lies the reason the Pars have not got off to the best of starts. You can't replace that quality and expect to be off and running right away as we know all too well.
Team news ahead of the game:-
Dunfermline still have long time adversary Kallum Higginbotham playing for them and that's never a good thing for us. He loves to tease us a little. The Longridges are scoring freely and El Bakhtaoui can be dangerous. The Pars did some late business in the transfer window signing former Kilmarnock, Dundee United, Partick Thistle, Hearts and MK Dons player Robbie Muirhead . They have also secured the services of Hearts pair Malaury Martin and Aidan Keena on loan.
Inverness have no major worries as matchday four approaches apart from who will be sticking the ball in the back of the net. Late news is that Zak Elbouzedi has left the club by mutual consent.
tm4tj prediction:- I don't expect an easy game at East End Park and like us, Dunfermline created plenty against Ayr United but failed to capitalise. We were generally neat and tidy against Alloa but were a bit wasteful in front of goal. Penalty taking has been a big problem although Sean Welsh took his opportunity neatly against the Wasps. Unfortunately he was subbed before the second penalty and big Coll cracked the crossbar with his attempt. With both teams failing to put their chances away, I will predict a 0-0 draw. Anything will be better than the 5-1 drubbing we got last season.
Here's the Official Site preview with more detail.